Pop Culture Influenced Exhibitions Take Over Centro de Artes Gallery

Published on February 08, 2024

City of San antonio Department of Arts and Culture     

Latinx and Mexican cultural identity themes explored in two art collections displayed at the free gallery.

SAN ANTONIO (February 8, 2024) — The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture invites the community to explore two new exhibits at Centro de Artes Gallery, located in San Antonio’s Historic Market Square. Centro de Artes, a gallery free and open to the public, is dedicated to telling the story of the Latino experience in the United States. The two separate, yet equally inspiring, exhibits by artist Efedefroy (Froy Padilla Aragón) and collaborative artist team Mike Alfaro and Gerardo Guillén are on display February 8 to June 30, 2024. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, February 8, 2024 from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Pop culture captures the essence of everyday life and trends, and these exhibitions go a level deeper by also exploring diverse cultural expressions,” said Department of Arts & Culture Executive Director Krystal Jones. “The exhibitions blend playfulness and color while inviting visitors to explore new ideas and perspectives on social issues.” 

On the first floor, California artists Mike Alfaro and Gerardo Guillén’s exhibition Millennial Lotería: The LatinXperience is an artistic parody of the Hispanic tradition of Lotería. The artists replace outdated stereotypes with modern counterparts that reflect the evolving identity and reality of Latinx Millennials such as “La Dama” becoming “La Feminist,” “El Mundo” becoming “La Student Debt” and “El Sol” becoming “El Global Warming.” The exhibit features more than 270 Loteria cards created by the artists that aim to provide a snapshot of modern Latinx life.

“We have over 270 Millennial Loteria designs on display for the San Antonio community,” said Alfaro. “From our first ever Millennial Lotería set, to our latest collaborations with Disney, McDonald's, and Warner Bros, I'm thrilled to be able to show how our game has progressed since its start in 2017. One of my favorite experiences from the original Millennial Lotería launch was my visit to San Antonio, where I got to play the game with so many great people. Their reception of the game inspired me to keep dreaming bigger, so now that we're returning with an entire show, I feel incredibly proud.”

On the second floor is an exhibition by artist Efedefroy (Froy Padilla Aragón), from Oaxaca, Mexico, titled Permanencia Voluntaria. Padilla’s work combines pop culture icons of the eighties with figures from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, creating postmodernist pop art in urban spaces. Examples of his oeuvre include pieces in which Frida Kahlo is depicted as Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Mark Hamill with Mexican actress Maria Felix depicted as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia from Star Wars. This will be the first time this artist has displayed work in the United States. 

“Since I started with my art, I always envisioned the possibility of its reach and how I would connect my work with people and their memories, crossing borders to unite, connect and inspire people,” said Efedefroy. “Now that vision becomes a reality by being able to exhibit my art for the first time outside of Mexico and what better place than at the Centro de Artes in San Antonio, whose vision connects with the work and concerns of Latin American artists like me. I feel very lucky and very grateful to be able to be part of the Latin American artists who have passed through these doors.”

About Centro de Artes Gallery: Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio’s Zona Cultural on the grounds of Historic Market Square, Centro de Artes Gallery is a two-story exhibit space dedicated to telling the story of the Latino experience with a focus on South Texas through local and regional art, history and culture and showcasing Latino artists and Latino-themed artworks. It is always free to visit. More information is available at Sanantonio.gov/arts  and follow us at @getcreativesa and #CentroDeArtesSA .